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News 27 September 2022 Updated 13 June 2023

Quick tips and home improvements to help you heat your home for less

This news piece was written in September 2022. From 1 July 2023, energy prices are being set by Ofgem’s price cap. For advice on reducing home heat loss, read here.



Energy prices to be fixed from 1 October but remain severely high.

As we head into the colder months and with the price of energy set to remain almost twice as high as it was last October, we are highlighting ways that people can stay warm for less this winter.

Below, we are outlining low-cost actions and easy changes around the home that people can take now to reduce energy and therefore money wasted through heat lost from their homes. At the same time, we are urging everyone that can to take advantage of the current support available to help improve home energy efficiency.

On 1 October, the UK Government’s Energy Price Guarantee will come into place, which will fix the price per kWh for gas and electricity for UK households for the next two years. This will protect bill payers from further price increases as the wholesale cost of gas continues to rise. However, it will still mean that the average home’s annual bill will be approximately £2,500 – an increase of 97% compared to last October and 27% compared to the last price cap period April-September 2022 (based on energy price cap levels, not taking into account UK Government support).

We know that many people will have already made changes and adapted to cut back on using energy around the home. Simple, quick energy saving actions may be small but they do all add up to reduce energy use and in turn, your bills. To manage and maximise the efficiency of heating systems and stay warm for less, our tips include turning down the thermostat, installing heating controls and ensuring there is space around radiators.

Tips to reduce heat loss

To reduce home heat loss and see the biggest return on investment, we are suggesting investing in draught proofing and insulating your hot water cylinder and hot water pipes. You can also insulate any open chimneys that are not in use.

When combined, these steps would have an initial outlay of around £274 for a typical semi-detached home. This could result in an annual saving on energy bills of £294, with a payback time of less than a year at current energy prices (simple payback time calculated in line with October Energy Price Guarantee).

In addition, for those who are looking to future proof even further, installing cavity wall insulation could result in annual savings of around £395 for an £1,000 investment. 

Five tips to heat your home for less

  1. If you are warm enough, try turning down your thermostat by one degree to save around £145 a year. For most, the lowest comfortable temperature to set your heating is between 18°C and 21°C (as advised by the World Health Organisation).
  2. Keep a gap between your radiators and furniture, make sure curtains aren’t hanging in front of radiators and remove radiator covers to get the most heat. Bleeding radiators to remove cold spots will also help them to work effectively.
  3. It costs less to set your heating to come on when you need it and just in the rooms that you are using, rather than keeping it on low all day.
  4. Install a full set of heating controls, including a thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator valves. The cost of installation in a typical semi-detached home that doesn’t have any controls is around £580 with annual savings of £180. If you already have a thermostat and programmer, installing thermostatic radiator valves could save £55 a year.
  5. Gas is still a cheaper fuel than standard rate electricity, so if you have gas central heating it is generally advisable to use this over individual electric heaters. The exception may be if you only want to heat a small area of a room for less than a few hours.

Preventing heat loss

Steps Cost estimateAnnual bill saving Payback timeAnnual CO2 saving
1. Professional draught proofing: Block gaps around windows, doors and suspended timber floors £223£125<2 years215 kg
2. Chimney draught excluder: Inflates to fit inside your chimney – allow a small vent for air to pass through£20£903 months150 kg
3. Insulate hot water pipes: Fit foam insulation, bought from any DIY store, around exposed hot water pipes£15£9<2 years18 kg
4. Insulate hot water cylinder: Top up your hot water jacket insulation to 80mm (from 25mm)£16£703 months155 kg
5. Cavity wall insulation: Around a third of heat in an uninsulated home is lost through the walls. Most homes in the UK have a cavity wall which can be filled with insulation£1,000£3952.5 years670 kg
All figures based on a typical 3 bed semi-detached house. Figures for mid-floor flat, mid-terrace and detached house are available on request.

Laura McGadie, group head of energy at Energy Saving Trust said:

“The cost of energy remains very high and it’s vital that people are supported to keep their bills low, while remaining warm. That’s why we’re providing tips and advice to help people manage their heating systems as effectively as possible and reduce the risk of paying for wasted energy. Those able to invest in draught proofing and insulation measures can also knock hundreds off their annual bill now and protect themselves from future price rises. We encourage homeowners to look into what would be best for them and also explore what funding is currently available to help them achieve this.”

In order to reduce home heat loss for the long term, Energy Saving Trust is also calling on the UK Government to invest in a nationwide retrofit programme, coupled with an independent and impartial national energy advice service. Reducing energy use in the home is the most effective way to permanently reduce costs and improve energy security, whilst maintaining national commitments to reduce carbon emissions.

Laura continued: “Only two fifths of UK homes meet the recommended minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating of C, meaning we are collectively paying millions in wasted energy, with home heat loss being a major factor. We urgently need to see greater and more rapid government investment in the roll out of energy efficiency measures across UK homes. A nationwide retrofit programme to improve the average performance rating of UK homes to band C, would permanently reduce the heating demand of each home by 20%, according to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit – in turn, greatly reducing bills.

“Improving home energy efficiency is the fastest way to permanently reduce energy demand and cut costs and carbon emissions while keeping people warm and comfortable. Energy efficiency must be made a much higher priority.”

Current support available

For owner-occupiers:

  • The UK Government has announced support for households as part of its Energy Bill Support Scheme. This includes the £400 non-repayable discount for all households. For more information, see our blog on how to get £400 off your energy bills from October. 
  • Find out if you are eligible for additional financial support from the UK Government, including the Cost of Living Payment, Disability Cost of Living Payment, Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, Warm Home Discount, Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment. Visit the website to get help with your bills.
  • Your supplier will also be able to provide information on support available.

For renters:

  • If you pay for your energy as part of your rent, your landlord should pass on the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme discount to you and reflect the Energy Price Guarantee. If your landlord has a non-domestic contract, they will benefit from the Energy Bill Relief Scheme and should pass the savings onto you. For more information, see our blog on how energy bills will go down.  


Additional help, including energy saving advice and details of financial support, is available from the following places:

Last updated: 13 June 2023